VIA Rail Canada


A First Look at VIA Rail Canada’s New Fleet - Siemens SC-42

On November 30, 2021, Rail Fans Canada was invited to VIA Rail's Ottawa Tremblay Station to visit and discover the first brand-new trainset that will be part of the renewed Corridor fleet. Here is our detailed first look and overview of the new trains.BackgroundFollowing the finalization of the contract with Siemens Canada in December 2018, Via Rail and their partners…


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Siemens SC-42 (Charger)

With an expected start to delivery in 2022, the Siemens SC-42 (Charger) is meant to become the main trainset/locomotive to be used within the Corridor. Built by Siemens in Sacramento, California, the units were ordered in 2018 following both an RFP and RFQ. The first units are expected to arrive in Q2 / Q3 2021 for testing, with a progressive…


Ordered by Via Rail in the early 1980s, those units were ordered to retire most F-units serving outside of the Corridor. These locomotives are still being used to this day along most routes offered by Via, including its longest current route, The Canadian.Developed by EMD for the North American passenger market, it was based on the GP40-2 freight switcher and…


Originally acquired by CN and CP, the Montreal Locomotive Works built F-Units were the main locomotive power for Via Rail following its formation. As such, they were a common sight on long-distance services, such as the Canadian and The Super Continental.Developed by the Electromotive Division (EMD) of General Motors, the F-Units started production in 1939 and saw various types under…

Bombardier LRC (2 and 3)

Initially ordered by Canadian National, the LRC trainsets would be the first brand-new sets owned by Via Rail as delivery started in 1981. Developed by MLW (later Bombardier Transports), Dofasco and Alcan, the LRC (Light, Rapid, Comfortable / Leger, Rapide et Comfortable) was designed to offer cost-effective, high-speed, and reliable service along the corridor, replacing the troubled fleet of Turbotrains…

UAC TurboTrain

Inherited from Canadian National, the UAC TurboTrain (branded as Turbo by CN to distinguish from "regular" train service) is the only locomotive used by Via Rail that was not powered by Diesel. Instead, they rely on a gas turbine to produce both the electricity and tractive effort required by the trainsets. At the time, it was meant to be a…

Train Cars

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The History of VIA Rail Canada

Before the creation of VIA Rail Canada in 1977, passenger rail services were provided by the two main railways of Canada, Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) using their respective railways and equipment. However, the 1960s saw a sharp decrease in the number of passengers, making those services unprofitable to their respective providers (at the time, both CN and…